This is the Third Anniversary of Sleepytown Press. It seems almost like yesterday that I was talking about the second year and here we are at a new year.
I have a lot of things to share and new books are coming your way.
Check back February 1st for Special News and a P
WOW! Sorry to be so behind, but we are moving. Sleepytown Press is not going anywhere, but we are physically moving from our present residence to something much better in many ways.
WOW! It has been a crazy time in October. There have been so many things going on. I have so much to share and give. It is amazing.
We took some time for a vacation to the beach. It was amazing. The sun was incredible. The temperature was around 84 each day. We saw the sun set every evening and sting rays played each evening at the edge of the surf.
I did a lot of reading and actually enjoyed reading two books. I will share more about them, later.
I have so much going on in my head that I am not sure what I want to say first, or make the first item.
Hang on. Get ready for some good stuff in November.
I was asked to repeat something from the past, so I decided to start of a new series with the information below.
Writing Short Stories:
Here is how I do it.
1. Write the story straight out. Do not worry about grammar and spelling and
mechanics. Get it down on paper. Actually, you can write a small story and then
expand it later. Go for the bones and add meat later.
2. Start small. Make the beginning short and to the point. Since it is a short
story, you do not have time to develope anything over chapters and chapters. The
beginning is like an appitiser at dinner.
3. Make the middle part the meaty part. This is where you provide the main course. This is the
Good Stuff of the story.
4. Your ending should come fast and be short. Do not draw the ending out for most of the story. When the end
comes, end it. This is the dessert. After a good long meal, the dessert only
takes a few bites.
yourself the following questions:
1. What does the main character want? Why?What is the problem?
2. Does the story have a beginning, a middle, and an end?
3. Can you rewrite it or do you have an emotional attachment?
Some people find it helpful to write it and then shelve it for a few days. Then, get
it out and read it. If it thrills you, after a rest, go for it.
There has been so much going on in my life. I have been swamped in ways that I never imagined. I hate to say that I am behind and trying to paddle faster and get to shore. It is just that so much fell from the sky and I am trying to get it cleaned up.
Fran's new book "Reflections" just published. It is a beautiful book of poetry.
Big Feats by Jeff Botch is out and available for purchase.
A new book about food and eating right is just about ready to be released.
A new book about Ollie, a white squirrel, is in the process of being published at this very moment.
Just in time for Christmas, a new book by Michele Verhossky is coming out. It is magical.
And to think, this is not everything that has been going on at Sleepytown Press.
It has been so busy around here. I am working on illustrations, getting back to school, and trying to keep from going crazy. I think one and two are working pretty well, but going crazy, just might happen.
Wow, I have been working on illustrations and having ten thousand other things happen at the same time. It is crazy. Ooooops, I said that already. Well, I guess that is proof.
I actually could use some "private" working time on a deserted island and then maybe I would get it all accomplished.
Please, if I do not get right back to you, please know that I am so incredibly busy and have so many things going at once.
WOW! What a crazy two weeks it has been. We are back in school and the week before school, I had meeting after meeting. Hopefully, after this week, I will feel settled and my schedule will be set.
I am in the classroom, right now, before school starts. The students are arriving and I have to run for now.
Check back often to see what is happening at Sleepytown Press.
This past week, my sleepytown press email account with Yahoo got hacked by someone in Nigeria and in Texas. It has created all kinds of crazy stuff.
First, everyone on my email account got an email saying that I had been mugged in Spain and needed 1500 Eros to help me. THIS IS NOT TRUE. I was sitting at home, in Alabama. In fact, a local author called and said, "Good, you are home. I just got an email saying you were in Spain and had been mugged."
Secondly, My email account is currently locked and hoepfully Yahoo will be helping me get it straightened out this weekend. I can not send, receive, nor read emails from my Sleepytown Press email on Yahoo. It should be corrected, soon.
Lastly, this has created a lot of stress on me because when someone sends an email to SP on Yahoo, it says the email can not be delivered. I hope that they check out my web site and see this blog or the note on the home page.
If you, by chance, know of someone who has tried to contact Sleepytown Press, please assure them that everything is alive and well. It has been a mess since someone hacked my account.
HOW TO MAKE SUER IT DOES NOT HAPPEN, AGAIN:
I am working on this. It includes creating a "special" seal that is on my computer. It means that someone from another computer can not log onto my account unless they have my special code. So, I hope this works out soon and everything is back on line as usual.
THANKS for being patient and waiting on me to get everything back as it should be at Sleepytown Press.
My new issue of The Writer magazine features an article by an award-winning writer about SHORT STORIES. I like that the magazine also has one of her short stories following the article.
In the article, she gives 12 items that often help make a short story our of bits and pieces.
*I decided to try something. I am going to list each point and "without reading" the article make a guess to what I think and feel that tip means, even before I read the article. Then, later, when I have read the article, I will "blog" about it and let you know if I guessed correctly.
1. Life doesn't come fully assembled; neither do stories. Boy, do I ever wish that life came fully assembled. That would really make it a lot easier on all of us. Then again, it is the bumps and knocks along the way that make us who we are, right?
2. Let your characters be themselves. Just like us, nobody really likes anyone to tell them what to do.
3. Stay out of the way, as much as possible. I take this to mean, Basically, allow the story to have a life of its own. Do not try to live the story for the story.
4. Don't plan, don't plot; just write. I think that I do this. Some people sit down and plot and do note cards and make their writing like a "mini movie." I do not do that. I sit down and write and let the story go where it wants to go. I have had times that I have gotten stuck and I think..."Where do I go next."
5. Don't stop short. Hmmm..My first thought is to keep writing until you reach the end and go back and edit. Maybe we should let the story grow, like a tree, until it is mature and then chop down the tree.
6. Juxtaposition deepens and informs any story. I think of changing sides or looking at something from a different view or angle. I learned, many years ago, that when painting a picture it helps to look at the painting "up-side-down." It forces your mind to see it fresh and new.
7. Always tell two stories. Well, I think of telling a story in a story. Show that a story has more than one dimension or level. I think of point of view, too.
8. Do use yourself and your life in your stories. I have always been told that a writer should write what they know. That is why you often find "ex-cops" writing crime novels.
9. First and last sentences matter a great deal. As for me, I want the book or story or poem to grab my attention at the first sentence and make me feel disapointed as I read the last sentence. I have picked up books and read the opening only to put the book back down, again.
10. Don't be afraid to philosophize in the middle of the story. Hmmm...I wonder if this means that a writer should stop and think and bring back into focus what the story is all about anyway.
11. No story will finish itself. I guess I feel the same way about a painting. I often paint and when I think the painting is finished, I leave it for a day or two and then go back to it. I have yet to have a painting pick up the paint brush and sign my name to it.
12. Always work on several stories at the same time. I get tired sometimes and I have to change my focus. Maybe that is what the writer means here. I have to walk away or do something else, then I go back and the story has new life.
Those are my thoughts on JUST the points in the article. Later, after reading the article, I will come back and let you know if I got close to the "bulls eye" or if I was "way off the mark."
My August Issue of "The Writer" just came in. I am excited to get it and see what it has to offer. The front cover features "Story Solutions" :Great tips on piecing together a story, from start to finish. (Plus, there is a short story by the author.)
*Creative ways to keep your story moving
*A top book editor on what it takes to succeed
*An interview with Mona Simpson "On getting it done."
*New Publishing: Why video blogging is the next big thing
*OFF THE CUFF Do you really need to write every day?
*HOW I WRITE "American Dervish" author Ayad Akhtar
...and lots more!
Starting today, I am going to read each article and comment on it in a blog.
July is here and I am not ready. This has been such a busy time for me personally and trying to get things done with Sleepytown Press.
I appologize for taking so long on important projects:
1. The New Voice Winners- I am still working on illustrations and trying to get everything put into place. I did not expect it to take so long. It has been one thing after the other.
2. Gallery of Voices- It is such a "huge" chore to sift through so many stories and get them into a book. I have all of them selected, but each story has to be formatted on its own and placed in the book, then I have to make sure they all look the same. It has been quite the task, but I am still working toward a "finish line."
3. Finishing books- I have several books that are being "wrapped-up" for publishing. It has been one thing after the other, but, after two years of publishing, I have learned more and the authors have learned more. It takes time to create "perfection."
4. Changing Jobs- Starting in August, I will be working at a different school. I have transferred from a high school to a middle school. I am really looking forward to the change. I need it.
5. Family Changes and Challenges- The past few months have brought changes in the family. One of my daughters has been looking for an apartment and finally found one to her liking. We are still in the process of moving her in.
6. Lots of stuff to do and not enough time.