Three Links 4/19/2020 Loleta Abi

This is late because I’ve been down with a sinus infection/stiff neck/headache combination. I apologize for the lack of links.

Image by Oldiefan from Pixabay

Three Links 4/16/2020

Loleta Abi


1. “We’re living through a time when we’re forced to face something our culture prefers to ignore: our own mortality.

We’re discovering, to paraphrase Emily Dickinson, that although we do not stop for death, it kindly stops for us.

As we see the daily death toll rising, we know we need to prepare for worst case scenarios.

Social isolation is making us increasingly dependent on the Internet and social media, so we need to keep technology in mind as we make those preparations.

Ever wonder what happens to your Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. accounts when you die?” This is a scary and sad thought that others would use your accounts to post misinformation or just plain gunk.

2. “Today’s guest is fantasy author A.K. LarkwoodThe Unspoken Name, her fantastic debut novel released earlier this year, primarily follows an orc woman serving the extraordinarily powerful (and power-hungry) mage who saved her from being sacrificed to a god. It has a wonderful narrative voice that captivated me immediately, world-hopping, a lovely f/f romance, and a highly entertaining dynamic between the main protagonist and one of the mage’s other servants—who often have to work together but hate having to work together!”

3. “We all need to improve our writing craft and working with a professional editor is the best way to do that. But there are ways to improve your writing before you submit to an editor (or an agent or a publisher), and writing software, ProWritingAid, can help you do that.

In this video tutorial, I’ll show you how I’m using ProWritingAid and why it beats Grammarly for fiction authors, in particular.”

Research & Fun Bits:

1. “While chatting with my good friend, Garry Rodgers, I invited him to the blog for a Q&A about life, writing, muscle cars, near-death of a popular singer, a venomous spider “incident,” a haunted kitchen, and his new book, From The Shadows. I don’t often interview writers, but Garry is such a fascinating guy. Longtime readers of the blog might be familiar with the name. He’s my retired cop/coroner buddy who often offers real-world experience in the comments. He also has a wicked sense of humor. We had to break the Q&A into two parts to include all the juicy stories.”


3. “The ‘enemy without a face’ is probably the hardest sort for a new writer to wrap his around. If you’ve been following along the recent blogs, I’ve been discussing a concept I developed to help you plot leaner, meaner, faster and cleaner.

I call this concept, the Big Boss Troublemaker. Identify him/her/it? And smooth sailing. Discovering then refining your BBT will also help you know if you have a story or not. If you do? Great! If you don’t? You can fix the story at Ground Zero instead of wasting tens of thousands of words.


We all took high school English and learned the basics.

Man vs. Man (easy). We see this in pretty much every action movie, right? John Wick versus the dudes who stole his car and worse? THEY KILLED HIS DOG.

Stealing the car? Possibly forgivable, because it was a pretty incredible car. But the dog? They must ALL DIE.

Then we come to Man vs. Nature. Errr. Okay. Um who wants to read a novel (which can span 60,000-90,000 words) about bad weather as the enemy?

Disease can work. Plenty of popular books on pandemics especially now, but they have to be handled with care. If one thinks about those books or movies, they can pretty easily devolve into a gore fest.

The actual story is in the HOW the pandemic or plague or outbreak is handled and usually will zoom in on a small group of people. The tension is in a race against time to find the cure. It’s about the relationships, tensions, bonds and infighting that is created in the worst of all times. The stories—good ones anyway—really aren’t per se about the disease.

The disease acts a backdrop. Go read anything by Richard Preston and you’ll see what I’m talking about. When the disease as enemy doesn’t remain in its rightful place?

We call it a low-budget horror flick.”

Some Things More Serious:

1. “How are you holding up? This afternoon? This hour? Today is a good day for me. I am reading wonderful writers who are tuning into the small things in this new reality: Karen Russell, Maggie Nelson. Also, listening to George Saunders read his letter to his creative writing student about the necessity of bearing witness now and inventing new forms to testify about this new normal.

I feel despair in the evenings as another day ends and my husband prepares to return to the hospital. He carries his N95 mask in a paper bag, so he can continue to re-use it, week after week. The mask is flimsy looking; it can’t possibly be enough to protect him. I worry traces of the virus linger on him even when he’s changed clothes, washed his hands, wiped down his steering wheel and the doorknob to our home before entering. I hesitate to touch him even as I am desperate to be hugged and reassured. I feel myself spiraling into that familiar place where I feel crushed by fear, furious that he is choosing to care for patients and risking his life, not to mention mine and our three childrens’.” I am torn between this letter and the fact that my daughter goes out every day as an essential worker, risking her life, and ours. We need the income though and I know there are things more important than money but right now, she’s holding us afloat. I wish it were otherwise. So I drive her to work and pray for us all. That has become our norm.



Teaser Fiction & Poetry:




Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:




2 responses to “Three Links 4/19/2020 Loleta Abi”

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