Five Links…5/9/19 Loleta Abi

western horse

Five Links…5/10/19

Loleta Abi


1. “While every great novel I’ve read hasn’t had a memorable first line, fabulous first lines tend to stick with me. And more than once, I’ve purchased a book based on a reel-me-in first line or paragraph.

Here are just a few favorite openings:

“As an interactive horror experience, with beasts from Hell, mayhem, gore, and dismemberment, it was an impressive event. As a high school prom, however, the evening was marginally less successful.” – Prom Dates from Hell, Rosemary Clement-Moore”

2. “When we were kids, my mum refused to buy us coloring books. Instead, she spoiled us with every colored pencil under the rainbow along with roll upon roll of blank paper to write and draw and follow wherever our imaginations took us.

But that was my mum, that was the artist in her, coloring outside the lines and giving her daughters the gift of creative spontaneity in the hopes that we’d express ourselves beyond perimeters and borders—to be our true artistic selves. On paper, chances were meant to be taken and rules broken.

All Mum asked was that we let our creativity run riot and have fun. And”

3. “I’ve been really struggling in my creative writing efforts over the past few years. I’m not ashamed to admit that. After all the time I’ve spent offering advice to writers, you’d think I’d have set a good example and, oh I don’t know, published a book by now or something. In time, friends. In time. Maybe. Hopefully. Or not. Who knows?

It took me far too long to realize the problem wasn’t me — well, not really. Technically, there was nothing wrong with me as a writer. There was a reason I was having trouble finishing every story I started writing, and it had everything to do with boredom.”

4. “I attend and present at eleven or twelve writers conferences a year. That’s a lot. But it’s always a joy to renew friendships and talk writing and meet promising writers. It’s also amazing how much writerly wisdom flows at these events, some of it in such volume that attendees and faculty can struggle to hear and process all of it. So I thought I’d offer a little help and record here some (a small fraction, actually) of the things my faculty friends have said at recent writers conferences:

“If you self-edit your work (even before it goes to a freelance editor), you will separate yourself from the masses” (Eva Marie Everson).

“Something visual should be on each page. Don’t let important scenes be done offstage–put them right there in the story” (Lenora Worth).”

5. “In many ways, a writing career has a lot in common with being an entrepreneur. Even if we’re with a traditional publisher, we still have to manage our own branding, contracts, and acceptance of risk in ways that corporate employees usually don’t.

In the realm of self-publishing, the comparison to entrepreneurship is spot on. Our writing and publishing endeavors create our own little company. We’re responsible for assembling our team of editors, cover artists, and everything else—and we won’t succeed if we drop the ball.

This truth can be a big reason why some writers (understandably) don’t want to self-publish. Some of us feel we don’t have the business sense or entrepreneurial spirit to run a company. That’s okay—no one can be good at everything.”

Research & Fun Bits:

1. “Publishing has a long and romantic history, filled with names and figures that we all know. For example, most aspiring writers can tell you not only who it was that invented the printing press, but also what is often considered to be the first book ever printed on it?

A lot has changed since then.

There’s no longer just one man with a printing press in Europe. It’s grown into an industry that’s worth $143 billion (USD). As you can imagine, with that kind of money floating around the industry, there are more than a few more people involved in the process and, best of all, no shortage of acronyms and terms for writers to keep in their heads (heads that are already full to the brim with ideas and books).” I remember reading about the printing press business in Diana Gabaldon novels.

2. far, nor yet near…


Ewan, Lord of Fulnay, presided over the Hall of Justice;

stick-stealers, rabbit-snarers, husband-and-wife beaters…

The petty round of misdemeanours had become wearisome in Ewan’s eyes,

yet ever, his steward hovered at his shoulder a moments notice from opprobrium.”

3. “My husband and I recently watched an excellent documentary on Netflix entitled The Creative Brain“Neuroscientist David Eagleman taps into the creative process of various innovators while exploring brain-bending, risk-taking ways to spark creativity.” 

I’ve written about creativity and the brain before, so I didn’t want to write another post on the same subject. Nonetheless, all creatives should find the show fascinating. But — yes, there’s a but — the narrator claims only humans possess the ability to create. I disagree. Creativity surrounds us. We just need to remain open to it.

I think we can all agree that dancing is a creative form of expression. So, if dance is part of the arts, then the Birds of Paradise are creative geniuses”


5. “Entranced by the living spell that is the movement of the Fate Dancers across their patterned marble floor, I, Gilgamesh – for the other is passive – surrender to the music of destiny and allow my eyes to be transported to a place of wildness; a place so far from the order and safety that I have built here from my children…There is a constant whirling, and in that spinning wind I watch as six days and seven nights revolve around my throne. As the seventh takes hold, I am dragged into this killing wind which leaves me in the wilderness and watching a scene in which I may not participate, because it is controlled by Shamhat… My eyes scream at the realisation of what she is doing… triumphing over my own command, working with…”

Some Things More Serious:

1. “The American insanity with guns continues. Yet, another school shooting has occurred in Denver with at least one dead and seven others wounded.

I expect  that two things will happen: media coverage will decrease as we, as a society, become desensitized to these terrible events; and the other is that spineless politicians who are either afraid of the gun lobby or in their pockets will offer their thoughts and prayers. They will, however, take no action. They will simply hope that American citizens forget this latest tragedy, and they will treat the situation as normal.”

2. “D.G. Kaye.. Debby Gies has updated her post from 2015 on her experience with a colonoscopy which was repeated last week. It is one of those things that people are reluctant to talk about, but needs to be demystified and discussed.”




Teaser Fiction & Poetry:

1. often transports us to the past. But for one woman, the transportation becomes more literal. She lives more in the past than the present, her beloved grandmother often tells her. Until one final moment of grief changes her forever.

A powerful tale about the impact of love and family.

“Perennials” by New York Times bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch is free on this website for one week only. The story is also available in ebook here.”

2. “Mechanical Tart

On the outside
An Adonis you cannot
But look beneath the
You might find something
Instead of heart and

3. “Jack didn’t understand why no one seemed to heed his warnings.  He even created a probability chart when they would not listen.  Being ignored when he presented data agitated him.

“The risk is far too great!” Jack insisted.

“I’m perfectly capable of handling any ack ruffians who try to bother me,” Copper told him in a tone that Jack thought meant disdain.”

4. I see you at your most vulnerable, I am at a lost for words.  It takes great trust to open yourself up and this is where my strides become more gentle.  Have I told you often enough that I miss you?  It surpasses the presence of physical being and is parallel to that of a candle that refuses to let its flame fade, knowing it the light of a steadfast love….”


Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews

1. “Welcome to my blog party to celebrate the book cover reveal of my debut romcom novel, Instructions For Falling In Love Again.

Thanks for coming. I LOVE your virtual party outfit – wow – you look great! My goodness you do scrub up well.

Hang on, didn’t you get the party brief about NOT outshining the party host in terms of a virtual party outfit? Obviously not.

*awkward silence*

2. “This #HistoricalFiction, it might be argued, could be controversial. It’s the story of the wife of Pontius Pilate – the man religious history has damned with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  This is Claudia’s story – starting with the person barely out of girlhood with big and dangerous ideas, and a terrible foresight.

The author crafts this well enough, with sympathy, despair at what will come, but from an intriguing perspective. What did Pilate think? Did he have a choice? Of course, we don’t know that – but that’s what historical fiction is about – it’s the might have been.”

3. a ghost decides it’s high-time for her murder to be solved, she chooses Jessie Reynolds to solve the cold case. Armed with only the girl’s name, Jessie goes in search of information and is stunned to find a link connecting the dead girl to Matt Parker. Is it possible the man Jessie cares about”

4. people take secrets to the grave…

Three years after her husband’s murder, Christine Lawrence still struggles for balance. She has a rewarding career and a close circle of friends but feels oddly unfulfilled. Worse, the close relationship she once had with her teenage daughter has grown increasingly strained.”


2 responses to “Five Links…5/9/19 Loleta Abi”

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