Three Links 6/26/2020 Loleta Abi

Image by M. Maggs from Pixabay

Three Links 6/26/2020

Loleta Abi


1. “I’m not sure anything stings as much as that first bad review. You’re riding high in triumph. You finished the project that may have taken decades to complete. Then you survived the crushing editing/ querying/ rejections/ revising/ editing again process. But now you’re finally a published author.


Whether the publisher is yourself or the Random Penguin House, the feeling is the same. It’s your baby and you just gave birth. You are experiencing a moment of bliss.

And then…splat.”


3. “Whenever I think I’m nearly done with my writing and read through my work for the umpteenth time, I always experience a moment (or whole days) where I think my writing sounds too choppy. After years of experience with this phenomenon, I think I’ve figured out that it’s just a function of how my brain works when reading text I’m already extremely familiar with. At least, I hope that’s all it is. *smile*

However, sometimes our writing really is choppy. In that case, we need to reword to create a better flow for our sentences.

What is choppy writing, what causes it, and how can we fix it? Let’s take a look…

What Is Choppy Writing?

Choppy writing is what we call it when our sentences lack flow. There’s no rhythm or transitions carrying readers from one sentence to the next.”

Research & Fun Bits:

1. “It had been an incredible morning, starting with the magic of Boscawen Un, our visit to Sennen church and then the long walk to Carn Lês Boel and back. Still flying from the experience, we felt in need of grounding and liquid refreshment and as, by this time, we were long past noon, we knew that the First and Last Inn in England would be open. It’s a curious place; while definitely geared for serving the tourists and the road, it is also the ‘local’ pub for a good many villagers and the two atmospheres meet and meld very well. We sort of had to go there, being in the area.

The inn was originally built to house the masons working on the ‘new’ church next door, which was completed by around 1430. The current building still dates in part back to that time, though most of the pub is housed in later additions to the inn. Today, it is one of the best-known inns in Cornwall. Not just because of the fact that its name is accurate… it really is the first and the last inn you come to at this westernmost point of England… but because it has a rich history, with plenty of legends attached.”

2. “I thought this week I would share some of the work we have been doing in the garden to brighten up the place. With the garden centres shut until a couple of weeks ago, I was reliant on the local Tesco for early spring plants to bring a little colour into the front of the house. I waited until this week to visit the local garden centre as I knew they would be swamped initially and I went this last Monday and had the place almost to myself. I piled my trolley high and spent two days in glorious sunshine getting all the pots out of storage and planted. The pansies from March and April are still going strong and I feel the place is looking much brighter.  Here is a small snippet.”


Some Things More Serious:

1. “The Character-Driven Story – by Mary F. Burns

About twenty years ago, I wrote a couple of “cozy village” mysteries, literally set in my own “village” of West Portal in San Francisco, with the emphasis on the intricacies of untraceable poisons and evanescent nanotechnology that required significant outlining, planning ahead and scrupulous, detailed planting of clues as well as red herrings—absolutely a requirement if you’re writing a mystery that is plot-driven and complicated. But then I fell in love—with John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) and his friend Violet Paget (1856-1935, aka the writer Vernon Lee). I wrote an historical novel about him and his magnificent and at the time, maligned, portrait of “Madame X”, and Violet was a significant character in the story (Portraits of an Artist, 2010).”

2. “P. H. Solomon offers some great ideas in today’s post at Story Empire, “A Deeper Look at Reader Guides.” I’ve made no secret of my love of Authors Notes as a way to communicate interesting and informative things to readers, but Paul expands on that and gives concrete examples of ways to use meta-data that you may already have put together during your writing process. And more! Check out this super helpful post, and please consider passing it along to others, as well. Thanks so much, and thanks to Paul for showing us more ways to connect with our readers! 🙂

3. “Back when the world shut down in an effort to curb the spread of a certain virus, I found my creativity stunted. I felt afraid, defensive, worried, uncertain.

Like many others in the blogosphere, I did not feel like writing.

The idea for expressing some of my anxieties through a serial story came a few weeks later, as I (once again) chased down the funny, reserved, down-to-earth, white-haired and blue-eyed man who delivered the mail to our area. My mail man is not named Ron, but his appearance and manners are based on the one I know and have known for a few years.

Originally, my story idea revolved around the mail carrier knowing what everyone had shipped to his house and …going postal on everyone and stealing their stuff. Somewhere around the second or third installment, I wrote each segment from that new character’s perspective. At another point I don’t remember, I decided the different stories would follow a triangle pattern: the last would be from the same perspective and in the same location as the first, the second would match the second-to-last, etc.”

Teaser Fiction & Poetry:




Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. Leaning Pile of Books is a feature in which I highlight books I got over the last week that sound like they may be interesting—old or new, bought or received in the mail for review consideration (the latter of which are mainly unsolicited books from publishers). Since I hope you will find new books you’re interested in reading in these posts, I try to be as informative as possible. If I can find them, links to excerpts, author’s websites, and places where you can find more information on the book are included, along with series information and the publisher’s book description. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This week’s new books include an upcoming science fiction novel and two Gothic fantasy novels, all of which sound fantastic!

There haven’t been any reviews since last weekend, but I’m hoping to wrap up the one I’ve been working on and post it this week. In any case, there will be a guest post and book giveaway tomorrow!”

2. “As a lawyer, David O. Stewart argued before juries, judges, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. Supreme Court.  Now, he writes history and historical novels, looking for the people behind the stories, and for the stories that have been missed or misunderstood. In his novel The Paris Deception, he brings to light the aftermath of World War One, the people involved, the wheeling and dealing that set in motion circumstances that continue to affect us today.

History can help us formulate useful questions and prompt warnings about our own times. This is the case with The Paris Deception. Through the characters of President Woodrow Wilson, French Premier Georges Clemenceau, and British Prime Minister David Lloyd George we gain insight on the conflicting values of countries, on the complexities of building peace, and on the weight of great responsibility. We see the United States in its ascendancy, Britain as its empire begins to fade, and the total collapse of Germany.”

3. “They would not leave me alone; the lonely virgin who stumbles on a breast feeder’s group and decides to pose as a mother and stay, the aging beauty queen who covers all her mirrors but helps a friend with Alzheimer’s remember what it felt like to be sixteen, the mother who finds an unlikely way to deal with her grief when she picks up drumsticks. 

So I wrote about those women. I worked on other stuff too, a collection of linked stories about a photographer traveling the South. I sent the photographer stories far and wide. But I couldn’t find a home for them. 

One day it occurred to me I had a pile of stories about women and girls. Stories that were quirky, funny and alive. My collection Lost Girls was born. I sent it out and a year and a half ago, and on my husband’s birthday, I received an email saying it was accepted for publication.  

I was surprised to find that I was happy, but not “win the lottery” happy. I was “I’ve been climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and made it to the top” happy. An exhausted happy. An “I put in the work and here I am” happy.  

My publication day looms, and I remember reading Anne Lamott’s description of the anticlimax of publication day. She talked about hoping to wake up to the phone ringing off the hook and the sound of the Blue Angels precision flying team overhead. What she got was an aching quiet.”

2 responses to “Three Links 6/26/2020 Loleta Abi”

  1. Thank you for the links, Traci x

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