July issue, 2017
Owners of PnPAuthor Magazine; Peter &
Where Ideas Come From -Wagons West: Daniel’s Journey – Western stories for young readers
I love attending writer’s conferences and learning new things about the craft I have devoted so much time to in the last few years. I recently attended the Dallas DFW Conference where I met different agents, listened to agent panels and successful writers from all over the United States. I went into
was titled “Put Your Readers on an Emotional Roller Coaster.” talk which
Emotions are powerful. They can make people do or not do almost anything at any given moment. I can get so wrapped up in what is happening on the page that I find myself crying out of grief or sadness or my heart pumping because I’m so mad. I couldn’t stop typing if I wanted to. I may have made up this character on the
she is making me FEEL what is happening to her. page but
The session was presented by Kelsey Macke, and she was a superb speaker as well as a talented, successful writer. She suggested that we take a piece of paper and think about our Work In Progress. She wanted us to imagine the main Protagonist only. Next we were to imagine putting her on the edge of a cliff. She or he is holding a box. Anything or anyone can be inside the box.
Then we think of five incidents for our protagonist and the box on the edge of a cliff. Remember what is inside the box. What does she feel about what is inside—hate, love, protection. Any emotion. Anything can be inside the box. Let your imagination take hold.
We have exactly two minutes to write whatever we want to fit. I suggest that you try these exercises. You’ll be surprised what insights you can gain. Of course, she timed us, but you’ll have to set your kitchen timer or microwave—anything that will make you stick to the two minutes.
the situation. The exercise is to express the emotions that your character overthink at the time. Will she jump? is feeling over? Throw the box over? Whatever your intention is in order for your character to feel what is happening to her, Make her FEEL HER CIRCUMSTANCES. Maybe she will react physically or not, but she has to FEEL something while she is doing it. Maybe it is her feelings that make her do what she does. She doesn’t have to do anything with the box or she can. She’s under your Be pushed her emotions are her own. control but
Have your piece of paper and pencil ready. They are:
1. Someone or something is running hard toward you. It’s going to hit you. What does she feel? How will she react?
2. Your character is facing her most horrific moment with the antagonist. What is it? How does she feel about what is happening?
3. Something is falling from the sky. What is it? What does it have to do with her? How will she feel?
4. Someone is running toward her. Who is it? What does she feel?
5. The box is beginning to open. What is in it? What does she feel? What does she feel?
You want your reader to be every bit as invested in your characters as you are. If you think about all of your favorite books, you realize that each one tore at your heart in different ways. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck is one of my favorite books. Every time I read it, I get angry, become saddened, feel protective, and frustrated. Those are just some of the things I feel, but whatever you do, make your readers fall in love with your characters so much that they feel sad when they come to the end of the book. What a ride you gave them!
Joyce, what an incredible presentation; thank you, Peter
Where Ideas Come From -Wagons West: Daniel’s Journey – Western stories for young readers
I’m frequently asked where I get the ideas for the books I write, particularly because I write in several different genres. Outlaw Publishing, an indie publishing imprint from Texas, recently published my book, Wagons West: Daniel’s Journey, the story of a ten-year-old boy’s wagon train trip to Oregon with his family.
Before the inevitable questions fly, I thought I’d outline the genesis of this book, which I sincerely hope will morph into a series.
The first germ of the idea came during a conversation with my daughter, Denise, when we were discussing what writing projects I might want to look at for the future. At the time, we were talking about the western/historical novels I’d written; the Buffalo Soldier series, Frontier Justice: Bass Reeves-Deputy U.S. Marshal, The Last Gunfighters, and Mountain Man. She was impressed that, in addition to telling good stories, I did extensive research to make sure the novels were historically correct, and suggested that historically-correct western stories for young readers would be a good idea. As I always do when an idea comes to mind, or is given to me, I made some notes in the journal I always carry.
For more than a year, though, I didn’t carry it any further. Then, a few months ago, I was contacted by J.C. Hulsey, president of Outlaw Publishing and host of ‘The Wild West Showdown,’ an Internet radio show. He wanted to interview me about Frontier Justice. At the end of the interview, we talked about the western genre, and he mentioned that he’d like to publish some westerns that would attract a new generation of readers. I brought up the idea of western for young readers, and he asked if I’d be interested in writing one for Outlaw Publishing. It sounded like a good idea, so I said yes. A month later, I sent him a novella, Wagons West: Daniel’s Journey, a story about ten-year-old Daniel Waterford’s wagon train trip to Oregon from his home in Iowa. A month after that it was available for sale on Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions, and hopefully will become a series following Daniel as he grows up on the western frontier.
Writing a western for young readers (and I’m hoping it will appeal to all ages) requires a bit more care than those just for adults. For one thing, profanity, violence, and sexual situations have to be handled with a lot of finesse. In order to be historically accurate, at least some violence is unavoidable, and without at least one gunfight, readers would probably not believe it. As much as possible, though, I wanted a book that parents could feel comfortable letting their pre-teens read. So, here’s how I do it.
Daniel’s Journey, a couple of violent scenes; Daniel’s encounter with a pack of coyotes, and the confrontation when bandits attack the wagon train and are captured by the cavalry. I don’t go into great detail in either, just enough to let the readers know what’s going on, and then their minds can fill in the blanks. I’m not so naïve that I don’t know that most kids have been exposed to a lot of graphic violence on TV and through video games, so I know they know what’s going on. I never mention sex at all in the first story. I’m working on the second one now, and do mention the dance hall women, but don’t get any more specific than that. As for profanity, an occasional ‘dang’ is as far as I go. Even in my mysteries, I keep the cursing to a minimum, and then only if it seems really, really appropriate for the scene. in
The main thing I focus on is historical accuracy. It’s fiction, but the things that happen, the things people wear and use, and the places are based on exhaustive research.
It’s too early to tell if these stories will catch on. One can only hope. In the meantime, I’ll just keep writing, but now you know, at least, where the idea for one of my books came from.
Charles, after 30+ years of teaching, I couldn't agree more with your fine presentation. Our texts have been distorted with true facts left out. You stress research, as do I, as essential to the story, and including just enough violence, etc.
is essential. Thank you, Peter
Dr. White's Religious Corner
An Assured Hope
Beauty Tips Carro's
to my words listen that you know in my heart are
Bee's SAY Vee
An Assured Hope
Isaiah 40:31; 41:10; Jeremiah 17:7
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.
Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Blessed [is] the man that trusteth in the
whose hope the LORD is. LORD and
If the question was raised, why am I writing about hope?
many others across these I like United States feel betrayed, heartbroken, angry and certainly do not trust Trump and his regime to be the President all for America.
Many of us watched his bigotry; lies, hate, and his personal assault on every nationality except White America who is rich like him; so then what to say that he will change now that he is the President; nothing. I say this because a Leopard never changes his spots.
So then what hope do we have? The answer is found in Jesus Christ as stated in our discussion scriptures. It is Him that our hope is assured, because without an unwavering faith and trust in Him we never lose. We are overcomers in Christ, but what we must do is remain strong, committed to our fight for what is right, just and fair for all Americans.
Remember all humanity is created in the image and likeness of God our creator, and we are all linked through His Spirit. We may have lost the
not the battle; the best is yet to come because the truth will be known as parts are coming forth as we speak. war but
In closing, allow me to encourage all to stay sprayed up, focus, committed, and to get involved by doing whatever we can to change things.
An assured hope is in the Lord. His truth and justice will reign.
Your comments are welcomed.
Dr., at this juncture, we can only wait for what the future holds in store for us, and hope for the best. Peter
If someone tells you that you have "Bats in your Belfry" should you be upset with that statement? If you are the sensitive type you might. It is said to refer to someone who has some strange habits, exhibits erratic behavior, or might simply be bordering on insanity. Just tell them you are a poet and author and that's sometimes how one acts while in the process of creating a masterpiece.
Bats, of the order of Chiroptera are the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. About 70% of the species are insectivores meat eaters, most of the rest
are , or fruit eaters. A few species, such as the fish-eating bat, feed on animals other than insects, with the vampire bats being frugivores , or feeding on blood. hematophagous
Bats live most everywhere except in areas of extreme cold. They perform the vital ecological roles of pollinating flowers and dispersing fruit seeds. They also consume insect pests, reducing the need for pesticides. They are equipped with very sharp
them to bite through the hardest armor of insects or the skin of fruit. At 130 decibels in intensity, bat calls are some of the most intense, airborne animal sounds. No bats are blind, contrary to popular belief; they use vision to navigate, especially for long distances when beyond their range of echolocation. It is a fact that bats have an eyesight better than that of humans. Their predators include bat hawks, bat falcons, snakes and spiders. Their average life span is between 20 and 30 years. teeth allowing
Bat dung, or guano, is so rich in nutrients that it is mined from caves, bagged and used by farmers to fertilize their crops. It is interesting to note that during the US Civil War, guano was used to make gunpowder. On the bad side, bats are natural reservoirs for a large number of zoonotic pathogens as
, rabies , Nipah Hendra viruses and suspected to carry histoplasmosis . They carry fleas and mites as well as bat bugs. ebola
Bats are often associated with evil spirits and other beings who haunt the darkness probably because of their nocturnal appearances after twilight, combining that with their unique many-folded faces, uncanny upside-down sleeping habits, long ears and seemingly erratic flying habits.
In medieval times it was thought to be a creature symbolizing affection because of their habit of hanging together in closely bunched groups. In biblical tradition the bat was
where it was called the demonized bird, sometimes becoming one of the shapes of the devil himself with bat wings. There was a time when German peasants nailed bats to doors in an effort to ward off the devil. In South America, bats were thought of as devourers of the cevil's flocked around the Aztec lord of the underworld, Mictlantecuhtli, carrying human heads in their claws. In Africa, bats are believed to be the spirits of the dead, hovering around dead bodies until doomsday. Women of Egypt use bat's blood sun who newborn female babies hopefully to prevent the growth of pubic hairs making her more attractive to her husband when she grows up. Bats in Egypt are also considered the guardians of pure water since the sultan of the bats lives in a deep-well shaft. In Greece and parts of Africa the bat was a symbol of vigilance. In China, on , the word for bat sounds the same as the word for happiness and so it stands for good luck. Gifts are accompanied by a fu
So now you have the good, the bad and the ugly of our friendly flying creatures. Admire their flights at a distance, and don't capture them just to examine them, instead, study them
or on video; it's a lot safer. on line
At Present, there are so many books to read, so many dishes to make, so many exercises to lose weight, so many people to text, and so many movies to watch. The first thing that comes to our mind is - What do we do? Yes, we have our daily routine. We think we want to start a writing group, No, we would rather dream of having a big dance group with different styles of dance. We may even want to volunteer. We
the everyday life of boredom, daily day to day routine. We feel we need a purpose. The first question that comes to our mind is - What do we do? We think we really don’t know. What dance do we really like? Is it North Indian Style Kathak?, Is it South Indian Style Bharatnatyam?, Or is it Ballet? All we know is we love dancing and singing. We listen to the same song over and over again. We know we are not the greatest singer. We feel most of all, we want to have time to read. There are so many books we have to read. We just don’t know which one to read. We even want to finish are living . our writing story
We feel we are not here in the present, We really don’t know who we are. What is our true purpose in life? What is our greatest gift or talent? For these reasons, we need a focus. If we mediate, we get to know who we are in life. What we really need is a focus. Meditate and we go deep into our consciousness. We wake up with some relaxation. We see we are able to focus. We are more relaxed. When we are calm, we are able to think more clearly. We know then, I
into any details or have a job. We get exercise. will don't go
We relax by meditating, and then we focus. We are able to get deep with who we are, What we want to be doing, and how we should live our life.
Vinita, you are correct that we need a clear focus, and certainly meditation is a most relaxing and soothing exercise; a great column. Peter
Suzanne Newnham’s Corner
Hello to year three!
Hello and welcome to July 2017, celebrating as I go into my third year of writing Suzanne’s Corner for PnP Authors Magazine. Wow! It’s difficult to believe when Pattimari Sheets Cacciolfi invited me to join her and Peter Cacciolfi’s small band of writers and submit a monthly column (or at whatever frequency my health allowed) that I would reach this milestone. Since writing my first
been only one month when everything was ‘blah’ and any thought, any energy was just about getting column there’s through and not sinking beneath pain rather than trying to compose an article. For the rest of the time writing and seeing words coming to life on my computer screen, allowing them to uplift me, and on reading the drafts hoping that my humble offerings would also be helpful to others, has kept me going.
It’s amazing moving from barely being able to put a sentence together or
the context of words – such was my decimated cognitive abilities due to pain and medications – to writing articles which, from lots of delightful comments I’ve received, have been useful and informative. recognise
This past month has seen lots of highs and lows. I have been involved in meetings to discuss pain management training for primary care doctors; given talks on meditation and relaxation for chronic pain and fatigue; as well as writing for a collaborative novella, and a novel based on my mother’s story. It’s busy, but the type of busy I enjoy! In between times I’ve needed to remind myself to pace, especially when I’ve become fully involved, and the inevitable triggers causing pain and other symptoms. In addition to pacing, needing to rest so that my energy didn’t take flight. The latter sometimes lasting for days (though it used to take months, without the bonus of doing stuff I enjoy.
the meetings, as a volunteer advocate for teaching about the impact of chronic pain). Yes even
Life when health is compromised is a constant juggling act. A whole new way of looking at what needs to be done, what you want to do, and learning different techniques to help you cope leads to a person who finds inner strength, tolerance, understanding and empathy. So, the next time life gets you down and you don’t know when you’ll ever feel well again just remember your inner strength, be gentle, and focus on the things that you can do, have re-learned how to do, and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
Suzanne, your writings have been an inspiration to
Pattimari and me, and I an certain, to many, if not all, of our readers. You inspire us to go beyond and fight for our right to be good; I admire your tenacity. Peter
The more natural you look, the more beautiful you are.
Sing me a song
a friend is like having a therapist say having
While your child is growing up, always remember the memories you have formed
~ Phrases I Hate ~
Maybe “hate” is a bit strong, but there are some current expressions which I find especially annoying because they are so overused. Perhaps you have your own list too. Here are four that make me grind my teeth a little.
1. “At the end of the day…” I’m sure you’ve heard this one. It seems to have flared up a couple of years ago, and now everybody’s using it, especially on CNN. All I have to hear is a political commentator
a sentence with “At the end of the day,” and my ears shut down. For one thing, the phrase is filler, intended to launch a sentence while the speaker figures out what to say next. For another, it’s wordy. If you must use this phrase, then please file it down. I’d be happy if the offender shortened it to “In the end” or even “In the final analysis…” start
2. “There’s no there there.” I actually liked this for a while. I found it clever and a bit witty. But you know, after 5000 commentators used this phrase, I began to feel there’s no there there. Whatever originality once existed has gone someplace else than there.
3. “Man up,” or “Why don’t you man up?” It used to be “Why don’t you be [or act like] a man?” But times change. Newt Gingrich used this during his latest campaign for president when he said one of his rivals should “man up” about something. This phrase seems to have faded from use recently, but never fear. I expect a surge of testosterone to bring some variation of it back.
4. “It is what it is.” - Not to be confused with “Tell it like it is.” Recently, my dentist put my nose out of joint (say, wasn’t that once an overused phrase?) when he dismissed my polite complaint concerning a bad tooth by saying “It is what it is.” I wanted to reply, “How brilliant! How perceptive and profound! Did you figure that out all by yourself, or did you learn it in dentistry school?” What exactly does this cretinous statement mean? Is a
it is, too? cow what
Dear readers, that’s all for this time. If you have any phrases or expressions you personally dislike, why don’t you man or woman up and share them with us? At the end of the day, I have to know if there’s any there there, or if it simply is what it is.
* * * * *
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Read one of my novels for FREE! INSPECTOR OF THE CR0SS - This is book 1 in my series so if you haven't read it, here's your chance. Reviews will be appreciated! Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jqq1Xt
Johnny, as always, witty, humorous and to the point. Now you are making me think of those profound statements which stimulate my juices. Peter
J. House Relationships
When was the last time you told your mate how you appreciate them?
The Story Ready Ape
He does author spotlighting
Peter's short story
So way back in 1910 Father's Day began, but it wasn't until much later that it finally ran. Sonora Smart Dodd thought it would be a good idea of honoring and celebrating her father while listening to a Mother's Day sermon at church in 1909. She thought mothers were getting all the acclaim while fathers were equally deserving of a day of praise. Sonora's dad, a Civil War vet, was left to raise 6 children when his wife died during the final birth. She chose the day of the death of her father, 5 June, but with some bad planning it was changed. Then way over in West Virginia, Grace Golden Clayton suggested to her church that they hold services to celebrate fathers after a deadly mine explosion in 1908. In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge recommended that Father's Day become a national holiday, but no official action was taken. In 1966, Lyndon Johnson, through an executive order, designated the 3rd Sunday in June as the official day to celebrate Father's Day. However, it wasn't until 1972, during the Nixon administration, that Father's Day was officially recognized as a national holiday.
So on this coming Father's Day
For even though you dislike the sound
They worked and toiled just for you
Away on the job much of the time
Think of the times and the difficult years
It may be the last time you'll get
Buttermilk Chicken Tenders
Prep Time: 20 minutes plus marination time
Cooking Time: 12 minutes
- 14 Sanderson Farms® Chicken Tenders, cut in half diagonally
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
- 3 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons seasoning salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups vegetable oil
Stay positive and happy
Work hard and don't give up hope
Be open to criticism and keep learning
Surround yourself with warm and genuine people