Linda G. Hill

Life in progress


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#JusJoJan 2018, the 16th – Contemplation

As a writer, I spend a lot of time contemplating the stories that form in my head. At my worst, during my most creative spells, my mind blocks out everything going on around me. I become consumed, beyond contemplation, in my own world. I get to the point where I’m not telling the stories anymore, rather the stories are telling me what is and isn’t true. I’m not imagining; I’m listening.

So it’s rather a shock when my beta readers tell me I should take out a scene because it makes them uncomfortable. I don’t blame the readers; I appreciate their input and I understand their discomfort. But I’ve lost two betas at the same spot in the second book in my series, “The Great Dagmaru,” in the last week, and that makes me wonder if they’re not right. My guilty conscience for making people uncomfortable is warring with the writer in me who says the scene in question IS part of the story. It’s what happened. So changing it or removing it comes to the same result: compromising the story’s truth.

I have a feeling that if I leave the scene in, it’s either going to make or break my entire series. The readers who realized it needed to be in there enjoyed it (or tolerated it) because it made them feel uncomfortable – it’s what it’s meant to do. Those who hated it may end up hating me. Should I be hoping at this point that it will push enough buttons, whether positive or negative, to make the book go viral? On the other hand, maybe it’s not all that bad, in the hands of the right audience. Speaking of which, note to all the readers who thought The Magician’s Curse should have been categorized as “Young Adult”: the second book will prove to be distinctly “Adult.”

Stay true to your story and publish without fear, says most of me: Write to please people with a story fit for Hollywood, the part of me that wants to bow to the more sensitive readers says.

Lots to contemplate. Opinions are welcome.

This contemplative and rather undecided post is brought to you by Just Jot it January, and in particular, prompted by the word “contemplation,” provided by Cheryl! Thank you so much, Cheryl! You can find Cheryl’s JusJoJan post by clicking right here. Please go and say hi! To participate in the prompt, please visit this post, where you’ll find the rules and you can leave your link in the comments.

 


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#SoCS & #JusJoJan 2018, the 13th – the conversation carried

I want to start this post by freely admitting that before I opened the tab to start writing it, I moved away from my copy of Fifty Shades Darker. Being that this is mostly a family-friendly blog, I didn’t want to be forced to cheat on the off-chance that I would actually come across a sentence that didn’t contain, “Oh my.”

Moving into a much more comfortable spot (in more ways than one), I looked around and found that my copy of On Fire was the closest thing to hand. I opened it to a random spot, which happened to be Alisha Costanzo’s story, “The Mark of the Phoenix.” I wish I could tell you what it’s about, but I haven’t had time to read it yet. It’s a lovely book, though; one of my own stories is in it. 😀

But I digress. The sixth, seventh, and eighth words at the top of page 266 are “the conversation carried.” There’s a comma in there in the original text, but it makes more sense to try to talk about the words without the comma to confuse things. My first thought was of sitting in a movie theatre, near someone who won’t shut up all the way through the movie. They have the ads on now to tell people to shut off their phones, but I’m guessing no one has come up with an effective ad to tell people to zip their lips. You’d think it would be common sense, but it’s more than some people seem to possess. It’s why I loved the drive-in … or one of the reasons. If you’d known me as a teenager, you’d likely know that I steamed up my share of car windows at the drive-in. …because I had them rolled up to keep the mosquitoes out, of course. Get your mind out of the gutter! And yeah, having a mosquito buzzing in your ear while you’re trying to watch a movie is about as bad as rude people talking in your ear. So where was I? Oh yeah. Mosquitoes don’t have conversations. Or do they? Maybe they do …

Conversations carry so much farther nowadays than they did back when drive-ins were a thing. Back when one had to either spend too much money on a phone call or wait weeks for the reply to a letter via snail mail. Does anyone actually write letters anymore? I’d like to. I wish I had the motivation. It would be cool to do as a promotional device for fans of, say, an author. Hmmm …

On Fire is on sale at Amazon. Click here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0784DSSVB

This random post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday and Just Jot it January. Click the link to find all the other awesome posts in the comment section! https://lindaghill.com/2018/01/12/the-friday-reminder-for-socs-jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-13th-2018/


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The Friday Reminder for #SoCS & #JusJoJan Daily Prompt, Jan. 13th, 2018

Hey there! It’s Friday, and time for the Daily Just Jot it January Prompt for SATURDAY, JANUARY 13th and your Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. For those of you joining SoCS for the first time, it’s a little different than the other prompts in that it’s not always a whole word. Much may be left up to your discretion: this week is no exception. Having said that, if you’re joining in from JusJoJan and don’t want to write stream of consciousness style, no worries. It’s up to you! If you do want to try it, please check out the rules below. It’s fun! Here’s your Saturday prompt:

Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is as follows: read closely. When you’re ready to sit down and write your post, look to the publication (book, newspaper, permission slip from your kid’s teacher, whatever you find) closest to you, and base your post on the sixth, seventh, and eighth word from the beginning of the page. Enjoy!

After you’ve written your Saturday post tomorrow, please link it here at this week’s prompt page and check to make sure it’s here in the comments so others can find it and see your awesome post. Anyone can join in!

To make your post more visible, use our SoCS badge! Just paste it in your Saturday post so people browsing the reader will immediately know your post is stream of consciousness and/or pin it as a widget to your site to show you’re a participant. Wear it with pride!!

You can also use the Just Jot it January badge!

Here are the rules for SoCS:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


50 Comments

The Friday Reminder for #SoCS & #JusJoJan Daily Prompt, Jan. 6th, 2018

Hello! It’s the first Friday of 2018 and time for the Daily Just Jot it January Prompt for SATURDAY, JANUARY 6th and your Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. For those of you joining SoCS for the first time, it’s a little different than the other prompts in that it’s not always a whole word. Much may be left up to your discretion: this week is no exception. Having said that, if you’re joining in from JusJoJan, don’t want to write stream of consciousness style, no worries. It’s up to you! If you do want to try it, please check out the rules below. It’s fun! Here’s your Saturday prompt:

Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “eco.” Find a word that starts with “eco” or has “eco” in it, and base your post on that word. Have fun!

After you’ve written your Saturday post tomorrow, please link it here at this week’s prompt page and check to make sure it’s here in the comments so others can find it and see your awesome post. Anyone can join in!

To make your post more visible, use our SoCS badge! Just paste it in your Saturday post so people browsing the reader will immediately know your post is stream of consciousness and/or pin it as a widget to your site to show you’re a participant. Wear it with pride!!

You can also use the Just Jot it January badge!

Here are the rules for SoCS:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!


20 Comments

#JusJoJan 2018, the 4th – Passionate

I love language. My love for it compels me to study it constantly; it compelled me to become an editor. But I hadn’t realized how much of a passion I had for it until a couple of months ago when I talked to the dictionary.

It’s interesting, when I think of a dictionary as an old, unchangeable tome, to find that it really is a living and breathing entity. I use Merriam-Webster as a matter of course when I edit, because it’s associated with the Chicago Manual of Style, which I also rely on. So when I looked up the word “nocked” on Merriam-Webster online for a client, I was confused to find it wasn’t there. “Nock” was, but the conjugations were absent. So I wrote to them. And half an hour later, they replied with this:

Dear Linda:

Thanks for your email. Our online dictionary is based very loosely on one of our printed dictionaries, and it still maintains a few print-based conventions (though we’re doing our best to work through them). One of them is that participial adjectives like “nocked” that clearly derive from the verb and which have the same meaning core as the verb are covered by the participle, and therefore the verb. “Nocked,” then, would mean “having a nock or notch” or “fitted against a bowstring.”

I hope this is helpful. Thanks for writing.

Cordially,
Lee Goodrich, Editorial Department
Merriam-Webster, Inc.

I admit, I fangirled a bit.

This post is brought to you by Just Jot it January, and in particular, prompted by the word, “passionate,” provided by Rosemary! Thank you so much, Rosemary! You can find Rosemary’s JusJoJan post by clicking right here. Please go and say hi! To participate in the prompt, please visit this post, where you’ll find the rules and you can leave your link in the comments.


37 Comments

#JusJoJan 2018, the 1st – Drama

When I wrote my very first novel in 2004 (I think), Trixie In a Box, about a woman stuck in an elevator in a deserted building over a long weekend, I had no idea what genre to place it in. Which is partially why I still haven’t published it. If it was a movie, it would be a drama. While Trixie is enclosed in her dark metal box, her family goes through a crisis and barely notices she’s missing. This conundrum has led me to much contemplation on the meaning of the word “drama.” Why it’s not recognized and hugely popular as a literary genre is beyond me.

If you think about it, drama in movies is really simply a slice of ordinary life. Sure, something significant happens within that hour and a half, but things happen in life all the time. Unless we’re in an extended rut, we tend to go from one drama to the next. The most popular recent use of “drama” is related to angst. Often teenage angst; a negative connotation that’s made the word almost cringe-worthy.

Here’s Merriam-Webster’s definition as it relates to life rather than theatre:

3 a : a state, situation, or series of events involving interesting or intense conflict of forces

  • the drama of the past week
  • dealing with some family drama
b : dramatic state, effect, or quality

  • the drama of the courtroom proceedings

So what to do with Trixie? It will take some major up-to-snuff editing to elevate (pun not intended) her to literary fiction. I do hope she’ll see the light of day (okay, that one was a little bit intended) eventually.

This post is brought to you by Just Jot it January, and in particular, prompted by the word, “drama,” provided by Ritu! Thanks so much, my dear! You can find Ritu’s own JusJoJan post by clicking right here. Please go and say hi! To participate in the prompt, please visit this post, where you’ll find the rules and you can leave your link in the comments.


58 Comments

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Dec. 30/17

It’s the last Friday of 2017! How did that happen so fast? As always, Friday means it’s time for your Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. For the next four weeks after this one, your Friday prompt will look slightly different as it will be part of Just Jot it January as well. I hope you’ll join in every day! Here’s your prompt for this week:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “resolution.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

After you’ve written your Saturday post tomorrow, please link it here at this week’s prompt page and check to make sure it’s here in the comments so others can find it and see your awesome Stream of Consciousness post. Anyone can join in!

To make your post more visible, use our SoCS badge! Just paste it in your Saturday post so people browsing the reader will immediately know your post is stream of consciousness and/or pin it as a widget to your site to show you’re a participant. Wear it with pride!!

 

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,'” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!