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Thursday, July 30, 2020

Monday, July 27, 2020

Overused Words by Janice Seagraves

When going through my first edits, I overused 'and'. I hadn't realized that I'd used 'and' so much until my editor sent back my manuscript with 'and' highlighted and it was all over the place. I know now how to eliminate most of those, but not then.

Sometimes shorter punchier sentences work best.

Later, on another edit, I was given a list of overused words.

That
Very
Like
Then
Suddenly
Now
Really
Was
As

And then I learned about filter words and I had more words to avoid using:


Thought
Realized
Decided
Felt
Touched
Wondered
Noticed
Sounded
Knew
Seemed

Actually just removing these words and letting the sentences stand as is, works remarkably well.

Example: I felt her hand gripped mine.
Correct: her hand gripped mine. 

And now, about my books.

I'm running a sale during the pandemic.

Nearly all my ebooks on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barn and Nobles are only #99cents.


 
Windswept Shores two-book series


The sole survivor of a plane crash, Megan is alone on a deserted island in the Bahamas. Then she finds a nearly-drowned man. Another survivor, this time from a boat wreck.

With only meager survival skills between them, will they survive these windswept shores and can they find love?





 Matrix Crystal Series 
Find love among the stars



And my only Paranormal Romance is still free on kindle unlimited.  

Morgan isn’t expecting romance when she accompanies her friend for a week of skiing, but when she meets Jared all bets are off.
Haunted by the loss of his parents, werecat Jared Catterick earns his keep working for the Catclaw Clan. Jared has secrets that he doesn’t mind sharing with a special lady, and he hopes Morgan is that special someone. When his past and present collide it’s worse than he imagined, and he’s forced to fight for his life.


Saturday, June 27, 2020

Windswept Shores Book One and Two by Janice Seagraves

This is my first published book.

I used to imagine what it would be like to live on a deserted island. How would I survive? This is a product of those daydreams.

I originally won a contest for a book cover and a contract to have my book published. I felt wonderful. Like I was finally getting somewhere with my writing. Getting that first contract is the greatest feeling in the world.

The ending of this book was inspired by my comments to a friend that modern pirates aren't romantic or sexy and are probably mean, dirty, and nasty.

Windswept Shores (Book One)


Blurb: The sole survivor of a plane crash, Megan is alone on a deserted island in the Bahamas. Then she finds a nearly-drowned man. Another survivor, this time from a boat wreck.
With only meager survival skills between them, will they survive these windswept shores and can they find love?

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AS9NDNO

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/637092


Two years later I published the second and last book in this series. We find out if my couple ever makes it off the island, and met some of Megan's and then Seth's family.

I had a problem writing the second book. I didn't have writer block then...It kept disappearing off my harddrive.

Just ~poof~ vanished.

My sweet husband bought me an external hard drive to keep this from happening again. I wish I could say that worked ... but I ended up rewriting this same book at least one more time with a total of three times from scratch.

Thankfully I have a good memory.

It's published now so that shouldn't happen again. *fingers crossed*



Windswept Shores Two


WindsweptShores2_432
Blurb: Megan and Seth are finally rescued off their little island, but things are far from idyllic. Seth is arrested for murder, and Megan is ordered to return home to her philandering husband who is somehow still alive. Will they ever get back together again or see the life they envisioned?

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/637092

Amazonhttps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BPLNHTI

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Unsocial Media


Since the world has been turned upside down, I have found myself even less interested in social media than I was before. When I joined Facebook years ago to keep in contact with my long distant friends and family then I joined the rest for the author side of my life. I really don't wish to be a part of social media. Partly because I'm an introvert and secondly, because I live a very boring life and no one wants to hear how I'm watching another repeat of Family Guy for the hundredth time.

But with all that is happening in the world, I am even less interested. I check to keep update with family that I miss especially my niece and nephew who because of the New York City lockdown I don't get to see as often as I wish.

I find that social media just add stress in my life and I don't want or need any right now. No doubt, you all must feel the same. I don't know how to find the balance between social media for my work and my personality. It's funny because most everyone I know just loves posting pictures, talking about their lives. I'm an introvert surrounded by extroverts. And that makes me feel odd and as if I am doing something that is wrong.

The pressures of the outside world can batter us down and have us questioning everything we do. I tell myself that I should be this or that. But I need to stop listening to that chatter and follow my drum beat and if I wish all of you do the same. You know what you need and don't need in your life so follow it because it makes us better. And right now in this world, we need better. We need to do better and be better.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

I'm writing again by Janice Seagraves

Good news, I'm writing again.

I talked to several of my writer friends about it, but the ones who are also suffering from writer's block are more stymied then ever with the isolate at home situation we have now.  Or they gave me that same advice I gave them...do something different, take a walk, hike, get out, take a class, try a new hobby...

Getting out is nearly impossible right now and as for starting a new hobby....well that's kind of hard to do, too.

I spoke to my husband and explained to him the last words I had written was when the phone rang with the news of my stepdad's death.

My husband said, "But, honey, that was two years ago."

"Two years?"

"Yes."

For some reason, that seemed to snap me out of my writer's block funk. I picked up where I left off with a story about a dragon inhabiting a woman.

It's a complicated story.

I sent it into my critique group and one of my critiquers absolutely loved it, unfortunately, the other said it needed some work, but the one who loved my story as incomplete as it was did the trick. I started to write more about that story.

I can't share it with you because I still have a long way to go until I finish it, but I can share one of my favorite published stories.


Year of the Cat


20504257_10203143660469208_231507552_n(1)
Blurb:
Morgan isn’t expecting romance when she accompanies her friend for a week of skiing, but when she meets Jared all bets are off.
Haunted by the loss of his parents, werecat Jared Catterick earns his keep working for the Catclaw Clan. Jared has secrets that he doesn’t mind sharing with a special lady, and he hopes Morgan is that special someone. When his past and present collide it’s worse than he imagined, and he’s forced to fight for his life.


Excerpt:
Auntie walked into the middle of the hollow. “We the Catcall Clan are gathered here together to witness a challenge. Called by Munch son of Tiger, who challenges Jared Catterick son of nobody.”
“I am the son of somebody,” Jared yelled. The sudden flow of anger had his heart pounding hard against his ribs.
“Who? What are their names?” Auntie crossed her arm and leaned on one hip and tapped a toe.
“I donna remember. I was too young when they killed them and took me away,” Jared muttered. “And she knows that.”
“Is Catterick your real last name?” Killer asked him in the canine speech.
“Aye. I donna remember much about me old life, but I never forgot me name.”
“Just tell her Mr. and Mrs. Catterick,” Killer said.
“Me parents were Mr. and Mrs. Catterick,” Jared said in a loud clear voice.
A few people around the hollow snickered.
Auntie gave a quick nod. “Jared son of Mr. and Mrs. Catterick. Munch challenges you for the death of his da, Tiger.”
Munch marched to Auntie’s side. He was every bit as big as his father. Well-muscled and not just tall but wide. Where Tiger’s hair was gray and white, Munch was blond and black. Another man accompanied him, his second, a tall, lanky male named Boyd. Jared knew him well, even though he was younger.
“Och. Here we go,” Jared told Killer and walked out into the middle of the hollow.
“He’s big,” Killer said in the canine speech.
“And ugly. I wouldna want to ride him into battle.”
Killer stayed at his side. “Psst.”
“Eh?”
“You can fight, right?” Killer asked.
“Aye.”
“Good to know.”
Auntie looked at both males. “Jared, as the challenged, you may decide on weapons and forms.”
“Human and no weapons,” Jared said.
“Very well,” Auntie said. “You may use your feet, hands, elbows and knees. Even your head if you feel the need.”
“What aboot sticks and stones?” Munch asked, his voice youthful.
“Will break my bones,” Jared said under his breath.
Killer snickered.
“No weapons,” Auntie shook a finger at Munch. “That includes sticks and stones.”
“Well,” Munch crossed his arms, “since I canna change into cat form, I think I should be able to use whatever I find in the hollow.”
“This isn’t a free-for-all, Munch. There is discipline to a challenge. You must remain in your human form and fight like a human. With this match, we’ll have a square go.”
“Not very cat-like.” Munch sniffed.
Auntie fisted her hands and leaned toward Munch. “You’re not a cat. You are a shifter. You shift between three forms. Now stay with one for the duration of the fight.”
“Doesn’t he understand?” Killer asked.
“A bit daft that one,” Jared muttered back. Munch doesn’t seem have a lot of self-control. Unlike Tiger who would have done exactly what Auntie said to the letter.
“Seconds, to the side.” Auntie pointed. “You may view the fight only. Do not interfere unless your partner is hurt or someone breaks the rules.”
Both Boyd and Killer trotted to edge of the clearing.
Jared stood facing Munch. Several feet separated them. Jared shook out his arms, moved his head from side to side, and loosened his muscles.
Auntie raised her hand and did a karate chop between them. “Now fight.”
“I swear on me da’s grave, I will end you!” Munch roared and the skin on his face boiled. His hands burst out of his gloves and feet from his boots. The shift made Munch bigger, tearing his clothes. He stopped in the in-between state, like movie werewolves of old, but in this case half-cat and half-human. The only thing that remained of his clothes was his black overall snow pants and even that stretched taunt across him. Extending his claws, he snarled and reached for Jared. “I want to see you bleedin’.”

 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0748CP9JH

Monday, May 18, 2020

Do You Know What Day It Is?



It’s No Dirty Dishes Day. 🙌

That’s right May 18 is No Dirty Dishes Day. 😏

Today this is a no-no.


Why do I know this?

Because I came across a calendar on the internet that lists what every day of the year celebrates or honors. This honor (that’s why I’m calling it at least) has me a little confused. 

Is every other day dirty dishes day? 

And how does one celebrate such a thing? 

If you plan to eat anything, you will have dirty dishes. I don’t know many people who would just leave their dishes in the sink to pile up and stink up the home. So are you not suppose to eat or clean anything once you finish using a plate and fork. If you have a dishwasher, you wait until it is full before running a wash. 

So, you will have dirty dishes.

Then we have failed. Perhaps, disposable plates, cups, and cutlery is to be used today. Is that what the day’s creators had in mind? 
Whatever the reason and how to actually celebrate it is inconsequential. It’s just a little silliness that made me laugh. 

I doubt I will ever forget that May 18 is No Dirty Dishes Day and I reckon neither will you. Do you know of another day’s celebration or honor that is just as silly? Share with me. 


Sunday, May 10, 2020

Mothers Leave Footprints In Your Heart


Poster by R. Ann Siracusa


FIRST FRIEND, BEST FRIEND, FOREVER FRIEND

Mother’s Day is the special time of year set aside for celebrating a very special person; our best friend, our mentor, our personal advisor, the person who always has our backs. It is the time to remember that person and show our love to all the women our lives, be it mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend.


The year 2020 finds us in trying times, self-centered times that generate worry, but they also bring out the best in people. People all over the world are helping each other and finding ways to give their love to others less fortunate in meaningful ways. If you can’t be with the important women in your life, at least take the time to call, write, or share memories of them with someone else you care about.

A MOM'S HUG LASTS LONG AFTER SHE IS GONE


I’m sharing with the RB4U readers some of my favorite Mother’s Day Quotes. The part I like most about Mother’s Day quotes from famous people is the realization no one is born already a great athlete, or poet, or statesman, or movie star, or wonderful mother. All of us were born young and someone’s love guided us to become what we are today.

I’m sure you will find quotes that resonate with you.



GOD COULD NOT BE EVERYWHERE AND THEREFORE HE MADE MOTHERS


"When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child." ~ Sophia Loren


"My mom has made it possible for me to be who I am. Our family is everything. Her greatest skill was encouraging me to find my own person and own independence." ~ Charlize Theron


"The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children." ~ Jessica Lange


"My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it." ~ Mark Twain


"It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding." ~ Erma Bombeck


"That strong mother doesn't tell her cub, Son, stay weak so the wolves can get you. She says, Toughen up, this is reality we are living in." ~ Lauryn Hill


"I am sure that if the mothers of various nations could meet, there would be no more wars." ~ E. M. Forster


"Mothers are the necessity of invention." ~ Bill Watterson


"Yes, Mother. I can see you are flawed. You have not hidden it. That is your greatest gift to me." ~ Alice Walker


"My mother used to tell me man gives the award, God gives the reward. I don't need another plaque." ~ Denzel Washington


"Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials." ~ Meryl Streep


"My mother was a personal friend of God's. They had ongoing conversations." ~ Della Reese


"There was never a child so lovely but his mother was[n't] glad to get him to sleep." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Mothers and children are human beings, and they will sometimes do the wrong thing." ~ Maurice Sendak


"I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it's such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her." ~ Ellen DeGeneres


"Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing." ~ Ricki Lake


"I may be the only mother in America who knows exactly what their child is up to all the time." ~ Barbara Bush


"The real menace in dealing with a five-year-old is that in no time at all you begin to sound like a five-year-old." ~ Jean Kerr


"An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy." ~ Rudyard Kipling


"My mother gets all mad at me if I stay in a hotel. I'm 31-years-old, and I don't want to sleep on a sleeping bag down in the basement. It's humiliating." ~ Ben Affleck


"I was a brownie for a day. My mom made me stop. She didn't want me to conform." ~ Sandra Bullock


"I think in a lot of ways unconditional love is a myth. My mom's the only reason I know it's a real thing." ~ Conor Oberst


"Once you're a mom, always a mom. It's like riding a bike, you never forget." ~ Taraji P. Henson


"My mom and dad gave their kids the greatest gift of all - the gift of unconditional love. They cared deeply about who we would be, and much less about what we would do." ~ Mitt Romney


"Being a mom has made me so tired. And so happy." ~ Tina Fey


"It's a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful." ~ Roald Dahl


"There's no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one." ~ Jill Churchill


"If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?" ~ Milton Berle


"Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation." ~ Robert A. Heinlein


"To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow." ~ Maya Angelou


"The phrase 'working mother' is redundant." ~ Jane Sellman


"Love as powerful as your mother's for you leaves its own mark...to have been loved so deeply...will give us some protection forever." ~ J.K. Rowling


"My mother was the one constant in my life. When I think about my mom raising me alone when she was 20, and working and paying the bills, and, you know, trying to pursue your own dreams, I think is a feat that is unmatched." ~ Barack Obama


"My mother is my root, my foundation. She planted the seed that I base my life on, and that is the belief that the ability to achieve starts in your mind." ~ Michael Jordan


"Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother." ~ Oprah Winfrey


"It's not easy being a mother. If it were easy, fathers would do it." ~ Dorothy on The Golden Girls


"Acceptance, tolerance, bravery, compassion. These are the things my mom taught me." ~ Lady Gaga


“If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?” ~ Milton Berle


“A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after.” ~ Peter De Vries


“Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.” ~ Unknown


● “All mothers are working mothers.” ~ Unknown


"The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant --and let the air out of the tires." ~ Dorothy Parker


"My mother loved children ~ she would have given anything if I had been one." ~ Groucho Marx


"There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it." ~ Chinese Proverb


AUTHOR R. ANN SIRACUSA
Travel to Foreign Lands for Romance and Intrigue
Converting Oxygen to Carbon Dioxide For Over Four Fifths of a Century

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