Friday, March 24, 2017

Catching UP!


   I have finished, and posted the prologue and first chapter of Spirit of Rain that I started on St. Patricks Day to the 10,000 Words Challenge at Chapter Buzz.  Anyone who wants to read it, can follow this link.
    http://www.chapterbuzz.com/Arline/57/spirit-of-rain-by-arline-chase
I really am very happy to be writing again, but very sure that something  is wrong for the following reasons.
   1. It's coming quite easily as long as I keep writing and don't stop.
   2. I keep going to sleep in the middle of sentences.
 PAY NO  ATTENTION 
to the Word Count that has me at almost 9,000 words

    In the Post a chapter section, I posted the beginning of SPIRIT OF EARTH, vol. 1 with the link 
http://www.chapterbuzz.com/Arline/58/spirit-of-earth-by-arline-chase
to where it can be bought (because it's always a good idea to offer a sample to potential readers in case someone want's to buy it.) And they counted all those extra words from the book that was already finished and published --
I did NOT write 9,000 + words in ONE week! 
But you knew that!
This might be a good place to offer sample chapters or your own work as a form of promotion. As far as I can tell, It's free!


Galleys that went out this week:
Marta's Place by C.M. Albrecht. 
   When Hal Morrison goes to work at Marta's Place he doesn't just have to deal with customers; he has to deal with love, lust, detectives, drugs, murder, mayhem…and Marta!



Work continued on the following books this week:
EASTERN SHORE NOIR, a Collection of Work by Members of the Writers Bloc
   Okay, so here you are, reader, opening the page ... obviously you have discriminating tastes and a longing, nay, a desire, for a cracking good story pulsing with noir elements.

RED YEAR, by Jan Shapin
    Can a red-haired woman from Chicago single-handedly force Joseph Stalin to back down?         China, 1927. 
    Thirty-three year old Rayna Prohme, accompanying her left-wing journalist husband, becomes the political confidant and lover of Mikhail Borodin, the Russian commander sent to prop up a failing Chinese revolution. In a bid to continue their love affair, Rayna hatches a plan to accompany Mme. Sun, the widow of the Chinese revolution’s founder, to Moscow.


Chasing Nightmares by James R. Kincaid
             Chasing Nightmares, deliberately embracing terrors, isn’t what you and I are likely to do.  But you and I are not the four central characters in this novel, pretty typical college kids who sense that their lives are so predictable they hardly seem present in them.  They are determined not to succumb to the commonplace scripts set out for them, pathways that are so comfortable they might as well be padded, MUSAK softly playing.
      So, they set out from Los Angeles, trying hard to find the perilous.  They try hard to make themselves unprepared, open, desperate to vivify their minds and senses.  They make it only as far as Lake Tahoe and the nearby Donner Pass, where they do succeed in attracting horrors, certainly not the ones they had, despite themselves, anticipated. 
            But the nightmares they wrap round themselves also contain a good deal more than shivers, and the calls on their resolve demand more than simple courage (or foolhardy consistency).  Without knowing how it happened, they are drawn into a different strangeness, asking for and yet reluctant to receive something very much like love.

Jack's News!
  by your Official Bookstore Cat, 
and Gossip Columnist.
Hi Folks,

   No news from you guys again this week. It's been pretty dull here at home, too.
Except for Sunday, when Arline was looking for a bowl on the shelf and knocked a pitcher off. Don't worry, it didn't break! It just fell down in the chair and bonked my baby sister Spunky right on her soft little head!

   She  was napping in her favorite chair -- and it HIT HER right on the head. Her head is pretty soft, so so the pitcher didn't even break.

   Arline was very upset, she kept petting her and making sure she was okay. Boy, did Spunky like that.  Licking Arline's fingers and getting a belly-rub. Then when Arline went back in the kitchen. Spunky stayed right there, begging for treats, and just fawning all over everyone, sucking up the way she always does. She rubbed herself all over Sid's boots and hopped into Roger's lap and licked his chin. She never even knew what hit her, but she sure knew how to milk the action.

    I'll bet she just thought it was trolls, again.  And she didn't go to sleep again until after everyone had left and then she got me to look EVERYwhere, to be sure No trolls none had got in the house.

   This is a secret, so don't tell, okay? But I used to hide under that chair and grab her tail whenever she jumped up. She'd squawk and jump down and look everywhere. While she was sniffing around trying to find out what happened, I'd stroll out looking all innocent and tell her she had been attacked by trolls and didn't she see them?  I told her they were big purple animals with warts and big, big teeth and they loved to catch sleeping kitties  and take them far, far away from from their homes, and leave them all alone in the woods.

   I felt really bad when she thanked me for chasing them away and said she was lucky to have a big brother who knew how to make trolls run. To this day, she never climbs in that chair without checking underneath for hidden trolls.

Arline has had her head in the computer all week, so she really was writing, but she keeps falling asleeep and waking up with a whole screen full of e's or P's but Roger said he's happy, cause she's always happy when she's writing and maybe he'll get lucky and she'll write some love scenes. 

As for the rest of you, PLEASE don't forget to send me news of any personal appearances, signings and so on that you have planned... so I'll have some gossip to pass along next week. 

Just send an e-mail to arline@mail.com with 
 "News for Jack" 
 in the subject line, and
I'll make sure it shows up here for all the world to see!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Catching UP!

I, Arline Chase, have actually entered the 10,000 word March Writer's Challenge at ChapterBuzz.com  I'm LATE ... But at least it's a start. 

Many Thanks to Aleta Kay Dye, an old writing friend, who is also taking the challenge and encouraged me to try. 


Wow. Ten thousand words! Can I really write 10,000 words between now and the end of the month? 
Probably not... 
But since I've been procrastinating about starting this book since 2006, writing even ONE scene was a milestone. 
Time to CELEBRATE! 
And I did it. There are actual words on paper and you can all read them and leave feedback here:
www.chapterbuzz.com/dashboard/challenge
The challenge is accepted. The work has actually begun...I feel so good.

Only 9,156 words left to go!


Work continued on the following books this week:
EASTERN SHORE NOIR, a Collection of Work by Members of the Writers Bloc
   Okay, so here you are, reader, opening the page ... obviously you have discriminating tastes and a longing, nay, a desire, for a cracking good story pulsing with noir elements.
RED YEAR, by Jan Shapin
    Can a red-haired woman from Chicago single-handedly force Joseph Stalin to back down?         China, 1927. 
    Thirty-three year old Rayna Prohme, accompanying her left-wing journalist husband, becomes the political confidant and lover of Mikhail Borodin, the Russian commander sent to prop up a failing Chinese revolution. In a bid to continue their love affair, Rayna hatches a plan to accompany Mme. Sun, the widow of the Chinese revolution’s founder, to Moscow.



Chasing Nightmares by James R. Kincaid
             Chasing Nightmares, deliberately embracing terrors, isn’t what you and I are likely to do.  But you and I are not the four central characters in this novel, pretty typical college kids who sense that their lives are so predictable they hardly seem present in them.  They are determined not to succumb to the commonplace scripts set out for them, pathways that are so comfortable they might as well be padded, MUSAK softly playing.
            So, they set out from Los Angeles, trying hard to find the perilous.  They try hard to make themselves unprepared, open, desperate to vivify their minds and senses.  They make it only as far as Lake Tahoe and the nearby Donner Pass, where they do succeed in attracting horrors, certainly not the ones they had, despite themselves, anticipated. 
            But the nightmares they wrap round themselves also contain a good deal more than shivers, and the calls on their resolve demand more than simple courage (or foolhardy consistency).  Without knowing how it happened, they are drawn into a different strangeness, asking for and yet reluctant to receive something very much like love.

Jack's News!
  by your Official Bookstore Cat, 
and Gossip Columnist.
Hi Folks,
HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!
And the luck of the Irish to us all!  This week we heard from a couple of you:
   The Writers Bloc will have its March 18 meeting Tomorrow at one in Meeting Room 3 at the Wicomico County Public Library. Also, Arline worked on some changes to your cover for the Noir collection (see above...) 
Barbara Garro sent the  flyer for her summer promo campaign for her first poetry book, Love Bites.    
     Barbara has color copiesall printed and ready to distribute wherever she goes this spring and summer. She lives in Saratoga Springs, a big tourist town, and plans to display copies on bulletin boards everywhere: from huge hotels to the Bathhouses, colleges, senior centers, libraries Performing Arts Center, downtown shops, ANYwhere there's a bulletin board. 
     Barbara is an artist (she painted that pretty cover herself) and goes to a Lot of Meetings. So she's just going to keep a few flyers in her bag and post them wherever she goes. Sounds like a good idea to me, even if you don't live in a big tourist town...

As for around here, Arline must be writing Her Own Stuff again, because she hardly looked up all day Thursday! She never gets like that when she's formatting other folks' books. You should see her shaking her head and making faces. Computer keys click. Then she stops and goes backspace, backspace, backspace. Then she writes some more, then she growls, picks up the mouse, wipes it all out, and starts over -- makes her right grumpy, too.

Personally, I has a big shock after breakfast on Thursday morning (First things First! Nothing but food matters until after breakfast). Arline turned on the TV and the screen was nothing but polka dots and White STREAKS! I thought the TV was broken until a newslady stepped in and started talking about a BLIZZARD! And not the kind you get at Dairy Queen either! She said it was in Washington DC! Hey, that's right across Chesapeake Bay from US! Arline said, "About 30 miles away, as a crow flies." 

Then I remembered what Roger had said last week about the ocean getting warm, so I looked out the window. SUNNY DAY! Not a sign of snow on OUR side of the Bay.  And better still, it STAYED that way!
 
It has been mostly sunny, but REALLY FREEZING outside, ever since. What's left of the daffodils are coated with ice, the blue phlox is shriveled and brown from frost, and the Judas tree lost all it's buds! Nevermind, though. It'll come back and bloom next month, like it did last year. Until then, me and my baby sister will just Stay Right Inside. No more sneaking out for us, until it gets warm again.

Well, time for a nap. Spunky likes the rocker in the living room, but I take mine in the back porch with the sunshine coming through the windows. There's nothing like a nice snuggle in my favorite chair with warm sunshine all toasty on my fur. It makes me feel Cozy All Over, even when the thermometer outside says 20 degrees!
 
As for the rest of you, PLEASE don't forget to send me news of any personal appearances, signings and so on that you have planned... so I'll have some gossip to along next week. 

Just send an e-mail to arline@mail.com with 
 "News for Jack" 
 in the subject line, and
I'll make sure it shows up here for all the world to see!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Catching UP!

Read an e-Book WEEK

It's not too late
to Celebrate!

    Hope you've all been having a pleasant e-book week. As we get older, and ma little arthritic, e-books appeal to us more and more. Here's Why!
   1.Even though the device feels awkward to you at first, once you get engaged in actual reading, it's fine. You concentrate on story and the words instead of the machine. 
   2.You don't have to dog-ear the pages, it always remembers where you left off.
   3.Even if a book is 2,000 pages long, the reading device never gets any heavier to hold. Your wrists don't ache and your fingers never go numb.
   4.You are never bookless! Your reading device will hold dozens of titles for you to choose from. If you finish a book at the doctor's office, there are lots more right in your reader, just waiting to be read!
   5. If it ever should happen that you've read everything stored in your device, downloading more is as close as the nearest Wi-Fi. The Library, your local coffeeshop, or even your doctor's office is sure to have one.

Work began on the following books this week:
EASTERN SHORE NOIR, a Collection of Work by Members of the Writers Bloc
   Okay, so here you are, reader, opening the page with a sense of entitlement because, well you bought the book, or somebody gave it to you as a gift.  Obviously you have discriminating tastes and a longing, nay, a desire, for a cracking good story pulsing with noir elements.
RED YEAR, by Jan Shapin
    Can a red-haired woman from Chicago single-handedly force Joseph Stalin to back down?         China, 1927. Thirty-three year old Rayna Prohme, accompanying her left-wing journalist husband, becomes the political confidant and lover of Mikhail Borodin, the Russian commander sent to prop up a failing Chinese revolution. In a bid to continue their love affair, Rayna hatches a plan to accompany Mme. Sun, the widow of the Chinese revolution’s founder, to Moscow.

Galleys that went out this week:


Chasing Nightmares
by James R. Kincaid
             Chasing Nightmares, deliberately embracing terrors, isn’t what you and I are likely to do.  But you and I are not the four central characters in this novel, pretty typical college kids who sense that their lives are so predictable they hardly seem present in them.  They are determined not to succumb to the commonplace scripts set out for them, pathways that are so comfortable they might as well be padded, MUSAK softly playing.
            So, they set out from Los Angeles, trying hard to find the perilous.  They try hard to make themselves unprepared, open, desperate to vivify their minds and senses.  They make it only as far as Lake Tahoe and the nearby Donner Pass, where they do succeed in attracting horrors, certainly not the ones they had, despite themselves, anticipated. 
            But the nightmares they wrap round themselves also contain a good deal more than shivers, and the calls on their resolve demand more than simple courage (or foolhardy consistency).  Without knowing how it happened, they are drawn into a different strangeness, asking for and yet reluctant to receive something very much like love.

Jack's News!
  by your Official Bookstore Cat, 
and Gossip Columnist.
Hi Folks,
   This week we heard from an old friend, Marie Tsuguda, the young author of one of the first books we published back in another millenium. She had discontinued it earlier, but now would like to put it up for sale again.
    Back then my big sister, Honeybear, was your bookstore cat and I was only  a gleam in some random feline person's eye. Anyway, Arline said this was a good book, very well written, and had a great message for anyone who might be interested in recovery. Better still, she still had the files, so it should be back in bookstores soon. 
    Here at home, it's Spring. The dafodills are up, the blue phlox is trying to eat up the front yard, and the Judas tree has buds all over. I snuck out for a good look when Roger opened the door to bring in the groceries. 
    Our own personal groundhog, who lives in the copse between our house and the Little Angels Day Care next door, had been out, seen NO shadow, and has been sprucing up the entrance to his den. Although the big sycamore out front where the big nest was is gone, the squirrels must have found another place to live, because they have been hanging around the walnut trees. Stupid creatures! There won't be any more nuts until August!
   When I was coming back inside, Roger and I saw a robin, and although there are still snowbirds around and the weather people are predicting there will be Another Big Snow before the seasons really change. Butt I don't Think So! To me, it looks like we are all ready for spring here.
    Roger says the bad weather will slide north of us again, because he sun is gaining strength and the ocean is getting warm offshore. He knows about stuff like that. And he's been playing and singing every day, so I guess maybe I'll forgive him for all those earlier remarks about my weight.

    As for the rest of you, PLEASE don't YOU forget to send me news of any personal appearances, signings and so on... so I'll have some gossip to pass on next week. 
Just send an e-mail to arline@mail.com with 
 "News for Jack" 
 in the subject line, and
I'll make sure it shows up here for all the world to see!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Catching UP!




The Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest, sponsored by the folks at Winning Writers, is now in its fifteenth year. The contest is seeking the best in original humor poems. Published and unpublished poems of any length are welcome. One poem per person, please.

Entry Fee: NONE
Deadline: April 1, 2017
Prizes: First Prize: $1,000; Second Prize: $250; Honorable Mentions: 10 awards of $100 each. The top 12 entries will be published online
Visit the website for more information.

A Book by a Friend

Writer's Block: The How-to Survival Guide for Writers Kindle Edition
by Larnette Phillips (Author)


This book serves as a guide for the beginning or novice writer who desires to "learn the ropes" when it comes to writing fiction, novels and nonfiction. Exercises and other how-to techniques and tools help the writer to develop his (her) craft.

Work Continued on the following book this week:


Chasing Nightmares
by James R. Kincaid

             Chasing nightmares, deliberately embracing terrors, isn’t what you and I are likely to do.  But you and I are not the four central characters in this novel, pretty typical college kids who sense that their lives are so predictable they hardly seem present in them.  They are determined not to succumb to the commonplace scripts set out for them, pathways that are so comfortable they might as well be padded, MUSAK softly playing.
            So, they set out from Los Angeles, trying hard to find the perilous.  They try hard to make themselves unprepared, open, desperate to vivify their minds and senses.  They make it only as far as Lake Tahoe and the nearby Donner Pass, where they do succeed in attracting horrors, certainly not the ones they had, despite themselves, anticipated. 
            But the nightmares they wrap round themselves also contain a good deal more than shivers, and the calls on their resolve demand more than simple courage (or foolhardy consistency).  Without knowing how it happened, they are drawn into a different strangeness, asking for and yet reluctant to receive something very much like love.


Jack's News!
  by your Official Bookstore Cat, 

and Gossip Columnist.
Hi Folks,
Well, not a lot going on here, this week, folks. Arline had a wonderful birthday. No cake. She made cookies though. They were crunchy, so I ate one, but they truly weren't very tastey -- hardly any fish flavor at all.

Sid came and brought a great card and fruit and chocolate. Don't know WHY she likes chocolate so much, but  she sure does...  He gave me treats, too. I like Sid a lot. So does Spunky. She fawns all over his boots and wraps herself around his ankles. You'd think he was Cat Stevens! Or somebody else important...

Roger gave Arline chocolate for her birthday, too. Dark Chocolate Turtles. And PENS! What more could ANY Writer want????

As for me, I've been a very good boy this week. Sorry, I can't say the same for Spunky. My baby sister stayed out All Night on Wednesday night. (The Hussy!) And her dinner stayed right in her dish. All Night Long! I didn't even sniff at it once. That'll teach them to talk about how greedy I am.

Not to mention using the F(at)-Word in my presence. I keep telling them I am NOT overweight for my body type.  Roger just has no right to go on and on talking about footballs and blimps! Okay, I AM a husky boy -- what do they expect when I can stretch out to more than three feet, when the sun shines on the carpet? But I am NOT fat! Take a look at my picture. Do you see any jowls? Do you see any double-chins...?

As for the rest of you, PLEASE don't YOU forget to send me news of any personal appearances, signings and so on... so I'll have some gossip to pass on next week. 

Just send an e-mail to arline@mail.com with 
 "News for Jack" 
 in the subject line, and
I'll make sure it shows up here for all the world to see!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Never too Late for Black History Reading


Harriet Tubman
Black History Reading List
Hi Folks,

    It's Jack, your favorite bookstore cat, here again with recommendations for Black History reading. The books on my list are good, and true, any time and not just in February. Since it's Arline's birthday, I'll start with one she wrote. She got most of her information for this from the biography that was written by her friend and neighbor, Sarah Bradford (more about her later), during Mrs. Tubman's life, so a lot of the information in it is from her own words.

    Harriet Tubman led more than 300 slaves to freedom. Through her wits, intelligence, determination, and bravery, she not only changed the course of her own life, but that of her family and countless other African-Americans.

     In the book below you will find a  lot of stories about Harriet Tubman that were taken down from the folks she helped to escape from slavery. But she is almost never mentioned there by name. In this one they use her code name -- "Moses." Whenever they talk of Moses, they are talking about Harriet. Her real name was kept hidden, because there was a price on her head.



    In the winter of 1852, a group of Philadelphia abolitionists dedicated to assisting runaway slaves in their flight to freedom formed a new assistance group to be part of the Underground Railroad—the General Vigilance Committee. William Still, himself a son of slaves, was named its secretary and executive director. Deeply moved by the stories of the fugitive slaves he helped conduct northward, Still took his committee record-keeping to a higher level. He wrote down, in eloquent narrative form, every detail of their stirring, often heartbreaking histories.
    Second only to the great Harriet Tubman in the number of freedom-seeking "passengers" he conducted through the Underground Railroad. 

    Still let the words of former slaves speak for themselves. 
In his journals, he painstakingly reproduced 
vivid accounts he heard from their very lips. 

    Still added excerpts from letters, newspapers, and legal documents to the already arresting biographical sketches, creating unforgettable portraits of the slaves' deadly struggles, brutal hardships, and narrow escapes.
     When the Civil War ended and slavery was abolished, William Still published his journals as The Underground Railroad. It is considered the most complete firsthand account ever written of the men, women, and children who rode the legendary "Railroad" to freedom. This edition includes a new Introduction and 20 illustrations from the original publication.

    Below is the book I mentioned before, by Harriet's friend and neighbor. The first edition was written as a 
pamphlet and sold locally, to help Harriet keep up the home she ran for Civil War veterans and elderly and infirm
former escaped slaves. Later, they expanded on the original, with Harriet adding information about her activities with the Union Army, during the Civil War.

    The book below is the biography written by Harriet Tubman's friend and neighbor, Sarah Bradford. After the Civil War, with the help of her friend William Seward,  Harriet was able buy a house in Auburn, New York. There she ran a combination nursing home, and boarding house for Civil War veterans and elderly or infirm former slaves. She often spoke to groups on the subject of women's rights. Sarah Bradford, a friend, fellow feminist, and neighbor put together a small book of Harriet's memoirs and later expanded on those tales, still with Harriet by her side, telling her everything that had happened.





    How does an illiterate escaped slave, Harriet Tubman, help 300 more fellow slaves escape their plight from the antebellum southern United States? After reading this biography by her friend Sarah Bradford, I'd say she gives God all the credit. Her Christian faith is very prominent and unashamed, which is a shock to this reader 150 years later, but much appreciated. Bradford wrote the book to raise funds for Harriet's ministry in her old age, providing a rest home for aged former slaves. Regarding Tubman's faith, Bradford writes:
    "Harriet's religious character I have not yet touched upon. Brought up by parents possessed of strong faith in God, she had never known the time, I imagine, when she did not trust Him, and cling to Him, with an all-abiding confidence. She seemed ever to feel the Divine Presence near, and she talked with God "as a man talketh with his friend." Hers was not the religion of a morning and evening prayer at stated times, but when she felt a need, she simply told God of it, and trusted Him to set the matter right." p. 14
    Tubman's faith is real and gritty. She doesn't stop at letting us know that not only did she pray for her owner's conversion but also for his death, so that his wickedness against her and her family would end. God responded to the latter prayer!

    I'd also like to mention Runaway Hearts by Terry L. White. That one isn't a history book, or accounts from those who had escaped slavery, but a poetry collection dedicated to those whose hearts love freedom, with some verses inspired by Harriet Tubman's story. It concentrates on the marsh area of Dorchester County, where Harriet would sing out her signal song, "Go Down Moses," and mistreated, fearful slaves would gather to meet her  and follow the road to freedom. 
    Below is an excerpt from a review:


    "I was thrilled by the poetic cadence of the story of Harriet Tubman. Terry White has, once again, shared insight in a way that carries you through the wonderous mist of a time long past. She writes from a space in her heart that only the pure at heart can visit. I was transformed by the experience of traveling the marshes, through the fog, to get a glimpse of strong and tender moments. Terry is truly a gifted writer and reading her works are an adventure you do not want to miss."  --- Sandy Saunders

I hope you will all enjoy reading about Harriet Tubman. I may be just a tom cat, but I do know about courage, about right and wrong, and even about freedom.  I also know a good story when I see one. Enjoy!