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Showing posts from February, 2014

Auditory Hallucinations - Do you hear voices?

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Do you hear voices?
In this case I’m not referring to the creative urging that propel writers to sit at their computers churning out thousands of words, I am referring to the actual condition that many experience. It’s actually more common than most would think. 
There is a lot of controversy about this condition. Psychiatry still considers it a symptom of schizophrenic disorders, manic depression and psychosis, but it’s usually a consequence of abuse or a traumatic life situation. In fact, 70% of people who hear voices first detect them after physical or sexual abuse, an accident, or the loss of a loved one. In actuality only one out of three “voice hearers” requires psychiatric help.
However, it is often treated with major tranquilizers, but it’s not the solution and in many cases make things worse. These drugs can silent any good voices and increase the intensity of the bad ones--the ones that encourage harmful or illegal behavior. “Anti-psychotic drugs help in only 30 percent of …

Setting the Scene: Purpose

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For the last number of weeks I’ve been discussing different ways to establish solid scenes. The last thing we want is for our readers to be wandering aimlessly through our story trying to figure out where they are. In fact that’s one way to lose readers fast.
So in conclusion, setting scenes effectively is crucial.  We want to ensure that our readers are aware of whose point of view they’re in, location, and that we give them visceral responses by using at least some of the five senses. 
However, there is one area we haven’t fully explored--purpose. If your book is going to flow properly, making every word count, then each scene will need to be there. Every one will have a reason for inclusion, otherwise, it will slow down the pacing and our readers will skim.
How do we define purpose when it comes to scenes? Ask yourself if the passage is required for character development or to advance the plot. If your answer is no to both, or you’re hesitant to answer, it quite likely can be cut and…

Scrivener -- An Author’s Tool

You’ve likely heard of Scrivener, whether you’re using it, a friend is, or the name just sounds familiar.Let me tell you a little bit about it.
Whether you’re an author who plots, or goes by the seat of your pants, there are tools within the Scrivener program that can make your life easier.  The program allows you to manage everything that goes into completing a book in one spot. 
You can keep your research notes there, link to online sites, keep folders on characters (in whatever detail you desire), you can make notes as you go along, you can create scenes and re-order as many times as you see fit, you can import a written story, or start fresh.  The program is designed to work with you and for you with great flexibility.
It makes it easy for the author who doesn’t write in order. Maybe you have the perfect idea for a scene and the words are coming to you, write them in a folder named to describe the scene. You can easily rearrange the order of scenes at any time.
As a crime author, I s…

Wax Mummies - Fact or Fiction?

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WARNING: Don’t read this post if you are squeamish. It contains graphic information. (I have eliminated photos.)
In real life: Yes, there is such a thing as ‘wax mummies.’
When a body is discomposing it needs oxygen and moisture, but when these levels fall of balance, it can result in the process of saponification resulting in adipocere. Ideally, for this to happen the environment is deprived of oxygen yet contains a high level of moisture.
This process begins within a month and can carry on for centuries. Women, infants, and overweight persons are more likely to be affected.
What is adipocere exactly?
I’ll let Wikipedia explain.  “Adipocere, also known as corpse, grave or mortuary wax, is a wax-like organic substance formed by the anaerobic bacterial hydrolysis of fat in tissue, such as body fat in corpses. In its formation, putrefaction is replaced by a permanent firm cast of fatty tissues, internal organs and the face.”* In layman terms, instead of the body decomposing as it normal…

Setting the Scene: Utilizing the 5 Senses

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As human beings we have been gifted with five main senses of touch, taste, sight, hearing, and smell. We live in a world of color and textures that lift us up and feed our souls. Maybe you’re wondering how this ties into our writing?
While it true that our work is fictional, as authors we do the best we can to make everything authentic. Even if you are a science fiction author, you would spring from elements taken in real life. Comparisons of some sort are required to establish setting and context.
So how we create a rich tapestry that takes our readers from being a spectator to our story to feeling like they are a part of it?  One huge aspect of this is setting. Are you utilizing the five senses in your writing?
Of course, it’s not logical or necessary to include all five senses in each and every scene. You definitely wouldn’t want to rhyme off the attributes as a laundry list of sorts. You will find as you hone your skill you’ll be able to paint a comprehensive scene using a smalle…

Silent Graves is Here! Release Info and Excerpt

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Thirty missing women in the period of six years. Now another has been abducted.
One officer was right all along. Prince William County, Virginia has a serial killer preying on women.
With the recent abduction, the FBI is called in and Brandon Fisher's team gets the assignment. There is more to it than just one missing woman—this dates back decades. They delve into the past cases, hoping it will shed light on the investigation, but with the discovery of a body and the report of another missing woman, their efforts are further intensified. They begin narrowing in on the cases from the last six years.
What they find are heinous acts that rival what they witnessed in Salt Lick, Kentucky. They must stop a killer who plays out his twisted game of rape and torture—and they need to do so fast if there's going to be anyone left to save.
NOW AVAILABLE! Amazon (Print and for Kindle) Apple Barnes & Noble Kobo
Excerpt: Chapter 10
The room around her kept getting darker—or was it her vision? Her …

Update on Living by a Schedule

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On January 8th, I posted “10 Steps that Will Change the Way You View Time Management.”  I shared the way I had gone about organizing myself for 2014. I wanted to provide an update on how things are working out.
Honestly there have been moments I’ve felt overwhelmed but for the most part everything is working out beautifully.  I did have to re-visit some scheduling issues to give me a little more room to breathe, but I’m still moving steadily toward my goals.
Has it been free of challenges? Absolutely not, but if you want something badly enough, you persevere and see things through.
My tip would be (to myself) and others following a schedule, don’t jam is so full that you don’t have time to life your life. If your everyday becomes full of to-dos, even if they are to move you toward your goals, you lose out on the now, the journey you’re to experience.
Another thing is never put pressure on yourself to speed ahead of your schedule.Every day has its responsibilities.Take them one step at a t…

Setting the Scene: Location

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Last week we discussed establishing character point of view at the onset of a new scene or chapter. (Click here to read this post.)  This week we are going to talk about establishing location. When I say location I’m not necessarily referring to the geographic element such as where in the world, but your reader needs to be able to picture your characters somewhere.  If you fail to provide location your characters might as well be acting out in front of a green screen--it’s the same equivalence. You would be leaving it up to your reader to place your characters. Needless to say this will likely make them confused and ultimately close your book which is the last thing you want.
This element of setting a scene can be a tricky one as it’s not always necessary to point out in an obvious way where it’s taking place. It’s quite possible the scene is a continuation of an earlier one and your reader already has a vision of the surroundings. However, it’s up to you as the author to make sure t…

Be in the NOW to Reach Your Goals

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I've talked a lot on this blog lately about goal setting and time management and how to attain what we set out for. It's been mentioned that envisioning how we'll feel once we accomplish a goal will help propel us. While that is true, affirmations and working in harmony with them will allow us to reach our goals, but we have to be cognizant of the NOW.

Even the movie, THE SECRET, pointed out the importance of being alert in the NOW. If we're not, we run the risk of missing out on opportunities that have come to us to fulfill our wish.
I've been reading the book THE POWER OF NOW by Eckhart Tolle. It raises some interesting perceptions about the mind and time.
When we envision the future we are creating a fictional reality--"the imagined NOW." When we look at the past that was a former NOW.  Think of it this way, Have you ever done something in the past, or in the future? No, you've only done it in the now. 
It's a complex thought but empowering no…